Lookin’ Back: Utada Hikaru – “Easy Breezy” (2004)

I can’t believe seven years has passed since Utada Hikaru‘s US debut, “Easy Breezy” off her album Exodus. By this point in her career Utada was already an extremely successful pop star in Japan, and her partnership with Island Def Jam for her US debut held a lot of promise and anticipation for a lot of fans. Unfortunately (in my opinion), this was her first single and it was… underwhelming… to say the least. It just came off as misguided and ill advised, ultimately culminating in disappointing record sales and negligible impact on the industry. This would prove to be the pattern for many a miss-start for Asian artists attempting to cross over into the US industry in the years to follow (Se7en, BoA, etc), and even know, nearly a decade later is still an issue that many artists struggle with. Even with Utada’s extremely strong comeback single a couple years ago (“Come Back to Me“), she failed to garner main stream success here in the states. At least progress is being made, albeit slowly.

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